June 29, 2012

Siggy Blocks, Round 1

Remember my siggy blocks? Look what came in the mail this week!

siggy blocks!
So much fun! Pretty colors, yummy fabrics. Every one came from a different person, some from Australia, some from Europe, some from North America. Would it be crazy/creepy if I Googled the other names from Seattle?

I sent 57 blocks into the first round of The Crafty Blackbird's Siggy Quilt Block Swap, so this is roughly 57 blocks (some folks dropped out). Signups have been open all June for Round 2, and I've been resisting. It's summer, the schedule is full, I shouldn't commit to making another 50-100 blocks.

siggy blocks!
So much for intentions. These darlings showed up and I managed to hold off on joining Round 2 for, what, a whole day? I'd say you can't make a quilt out of 57 blocks, but there are people uploading quilt layouts to the Flickr group who are totally proving that a false statement.

Nope, I just want a bigger quilt! More colors! More fabrics! More places! More names! (Ok, that's starting to sound a little creepy.)

siggy blocks fabric
At least, I'm keeping to stash fabric. That orange and pink bit on the left? You've seen it as Caitlyn's sun hat and one of her new skirts. I'm still on fabric shopping restriction until there is room for new fabric in my storage boxes. I'm light on yellows and greens, but if you want it in blue, I've got you covered!

June 27, 2012

Summer Journal: Caitlyn is Seven!

Caitlyn is 7
My girl is seven!

By request, chocolate cupcakes with pink peppermint buttercream frosting and sprinkles. I've got a new "easy decorator" that made frosting these so much easier than all previous cupcakes. I may have gotten the cake:frosting ratio a bit off-kilter... I guess I'll need to make more for practice!

June 22, 2012


I'm slowly catching up on all the Block of the Month project I neglected in April and May. These are the blocks for In Color Order's HST BOM.

HST BOM April Block
April. I love pinwheels. See?

HST BOM May Block
May's block. Probably should have used yellow instead of purple for those corners.

HST BOM June Block
And June. This one makes me think of the Granny Square block that's been going around the Interwebs.

Our sunny days are few and far between, so I don't have a picture of all the blocks so far all together. Maybe next month the sun will cooperate!

June 20, 2012

Summer Journal: Solstice in Fremont

I'm borrowing an idea from elsie marley for some of my summertime posts: brief updates so we can get back to the fun stuff.

With that in mind, here are a handful of photos from our annual Picnic Brunch at the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade. In case you need the naked bicyclist photos from this year, they are on Flickr, taken by other people. (Ahem, notice the word "naked" in previous sentence. I mean it.)

Pre-parade street decorating. The only time each year when it's ok to say to your kid, "Go play in the street!"

About to be run over by a huge beach ball (more than one story tall!).

Egging friends with confetti eggs. This year, I've learned (from Spider magazine of all places) that the eggs are called cascarones. You would think I would know that after years in Santa Barbara.

Enjoying some post-parade time in the grass at Gasworks.

June 18, 2012

Blue Tutu

Caitlyn started this month with her second ballet performance. This time it was Spectrum's All-School Demonstration, with each class performing a stand-alone dance. There were performances in ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary dance styles, by students ages 5 to 22.

Caitlyn's pre-ballet class's performance
(Photo by Grandpa Robert Gilman.)

Caitlyn's class danced to Somewhere Over the Rainbow as sung by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole. It's a lovely song, but after hearing it while they were learning and rehearsing their dance for the last five months, I'm tired of it, even if Caitlyn isn't!

Caitlyn's pre-ballet class's performance
(Photo by Grandpa Robert Gilman.)

Her review: Performing is fun, although once per season is enough (she turned down an invitation to dance in her school's talent show). The lights on stage are bright and you can't see anyone in the audience. From this I extrapolate that she finds it hard to trust that the people who said they would be in the audience are really there. Or perhaps it was just hard to see her instructor in the first row, offering reminders of the next part of the dance.

Caitlyn's pre-ballet class's performance

Caitlyn's favorite part: getting to keep her blue tutu and big blue flower. And getting to keep the flowers she received in her room for a whole week.

June 08, 2012

A Moment of Sun

It's all we get these days up here in Seattle. A moment when the clouds drift apart for just a bit, and there is a moment of sun. Quick! Pictures! 'Cause it'll start raining again soon. I love not needing to water the yard but, man, are my tomatoes sad.

Anyway, I caught a moment of sun this morning and was finally able to photograph my two June blocks for Sew. Quilt. Give. This is a new virtual quilting bee (meaning that we don't actually get together physically to work on quilt blocks, not that we're making virtual quilts), and there's still a few spots open, I think. All our quilts are currently destined for donation to Alexandra House in Los Angeles, a transitional shelter for women and children in process from moving from emergency housing to permanent housing. If you're interested in joining, check out the page on Flickr.

For our first month, our hostess requested two disappearing nine-patch blocks, one with "boy" colors:
Sew. Quilt. Give. June block 1

And one with "girl" colors:
Sew. Quilt. Give. June block 2

Nothing quite like being assigned specific colors to realize (again) which colors are "holes" in my fabric stash! I mean, I knew I was going to be short on browns, but I didn't expect to be thin in greens as well. I have lots of blue, but very little of it paired well with the few browns I had. I have plenty of pinks and yellows (thanks to Caitlyn), but a really uneven collection of greens, all either bright yellow-green or dark forest green. Unfortunately, I'm on Fabric Buying Restriction these days, if for no other reason that I'm simply out of places to put more. Must make progress on not only the works in progress, but all the projects waiting in the wings.

Here's hoping these bee blocks play nicely with the contributions from everyone else!

June 04, 2012

Sign of Summer

first strawberry of the year!

First homegrown strawberry of the year!

June 01, 2012

Let's go to the Hop!

Caitlyn has been looking forward to the next Sock Hop event at her school since before last Halloween. That might be my fault, since I was trying to help her decide on a Halloween costume and suggested a 50's style skirt that she could wear for Halloween and for the Sock Hop.

Somehow I ended up making a pioneer girl outfit for Halloween and promising a poodle skirt in time for the Sock Hop. What's wrong with me???

Caitlyn's ready for the hop!
Fortunately, it's an easy skirt. And with felt, there's no finishing: no hem, no fancy seam finishes. I used McCall's 6101, including the cat template, with no alterations. I probably could have redrafted the waist so there's a bit less felt all bunched up, but really, I couldn't be bothered. And this way, there's the hope that the skirt will fit for at least the next 4 or 5 Sock Hops.

(And now I have a circle skirt pattern! I bet you don't have to make them out of felt, either. Although I might want any version I make for regular wear to have a non-elastic waistband...)

Caitlyn's ready for the hop!
The purple felt is an eco product, made from recycled plastics, which amazingly didn't melt under the iron. The embellishments all came out of the stash. The t-shirt is a project that hasn't happened yet - because I've not gotten around to it, we have a plain white t-shirt to go with the skirt. The belt we found at Goodwill on Monday, a rather amazing find since it's infinitely adjustable. The petticoat underneath is mine from a million years ago and has been part of the dress-up box for years. I made the scarf for Caitlyn's hair on a whim, picking up a remnant of coordinating sheer stuff when I got the felt.

Caitlyn's ready for the hop!
I had a felt circle skirt when I was a kid. It was teal blue and printed with some design (possibly floral?) all around the perimeter. I loved the rhinestones on it something fierce. I loved to spin it out and drop down so that the skirt was spread evenly all around me. Was it just cool? Was I imagining I was the center of a blue flower? Did I like the perimeter the skirt set around me, thinking I was interesting but unapproachable?

It's actually probably a good thing that I more or less completely failed to compulsively document my life as a pre-teen. I don't think anyone - including me - really needs to know now what I thought then, about anything.

Caitlyn's ready for the hop!
Caitlyn was happy to spin for photos. And she cartwheeled, too! This is the best photo I got, on her first cartwheel, although it wasn't until the third attempt that she figured out how to move with the skirt and land on her feet.